US benefit packages facing cuts


US benefit packages facing cuts

Corporate America is offering a narrower range of benefits as the economy stalls, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), which has gathered some telling data on the make-up of benefits packages in the US.

But the 584-company survey, which is conducted on an annual basis by the SHRM, the world's largest human resource management association, suggests that as more woman enter the workforce, employers are increasingly recognising the need to offer family-friendly benefits. Dependent care flexible spending accounts and flexitime were reported as the most widely offered family-friendly benefits, cited by 71% and 55% of survey respondents, respectively.

Alternative work options that help employees balance their work and personal lives are provided by a significant minority of respondents -- for example, 36% offer telecommuting.

What you will find in the SHRM survey

The report offers some fascinating detail on the startling array of benefits on offer in US businesses. It examines the incidence of no fewer than 193 benefits, divided into eight sections:

  • family-friendly
  • housing
  • health care
  • personal services
  • financial
  • business travel
  • leave
  • other benefits.

Want to know more?

Title: 2003 SHRM Benefits Survey, Society for Human Resource Management.

Methodology: An email with the survey's web address was sent to 3,000 "randomly-selected" SHRM members, with a 23% response rate.

Survey sample: The 76-page survey is based on information supplied by 584 human resource professionals. The average workforce size was 894 employees.

Business sectors: Participants are drawn from a broad range of sectors across the US, with a particularly large response from manufacturing (11%), followed by services (10%) and health (8%).

Availability: Call the Society for Human Resource Management in Virginia, USA, tel: 001 703 548 3440.

Representing 170,000 members, the Society for Human Resource Management is the "world's largest association devoted to human resource management". Visit SHRM online at

Posted 8 September 2003